Adam Klein, Chair of the firm's Sports Law Practice, along with David Kelly and Harris Eisenberg, associates in the practice, represented Time Warner Cable (TWC) in a long-term, 20-year rights agreement for the broadcast of all Los Angeles Lakers games and additional programming in English and Spanish, beginning with the 2012–2013 season. In 2012, TWC will launch two regional sports networks (RSNs) in high definition, including the nation's first Spanish-language RSN, with new state-of-the-art facilities in Los Angeles.
In an article in the Daily Law Bulletin, Mr. Klein says it was the cable distributor's first foray into creating its own RSN. "Unlike a lot of those other shows, sports is one of the few things that are left that people really want to watch real-time," he adds. "And, in fact, they want to see it on a nice, crisp big-screen in their home." Mr. Eisenberg highlights the importance of finding creative solutions when negotiating transactions with multiple stakeholders. "Each of the leagues is governed by the commissioner's office and a group of owners, so not unlike an industry regulated by the government, you have to navigate the waters of the given league's rules, regulations and whatever they may or may not require, on top of the fact that you have to negotiate with the people across the table from you," he says.
Mr. Kelly sees RSNs as an opportunity to do some different legal work. "You don't get to do that many RSNs. When you get to do them, it's different than a typical buying or selling of a team," he says. "Also, some of the time, we're on the team side. It's nice to take some of the arguments that you develop on the team side and put them to good use on the other side. You can take a precedent that you may have used for one purpose, but flip it around and say, 'What is it that we need to ask them?'" ("Katten represents Time Warner in Lakers games' deal," February 22, 2011)